I will own up to packing something unused and a waste of space each time I travel. I took a pair of heeled sandals to Thailand for three months and only wore them once on the stop over in Dubai on the way home. What a complete waste of weight and a mistake I will never make again!

I don’t think you really understand what you actually need or what you don’t until you are lugging your heavy bag around in 100 degrees trying to find a room for the night. My backpack is rather large and it only means I am always tempted to fill it up. Opt for lightweight items that ideally will not crease.

Each kilo really makes a difference, so think ahead of the types of things you will be doing and what you imagine wearing the most. Below is my recommendations but everyone is different on what they will likely wear more often.

My list is only based on travelling to warmer climates, Lisa does not love the cold life. 😉



2 x loose thin comfy trousers (or one can be a long skirt)

1 x pair of black leggings (comfy for travelling and can also be worn with dresses if it is a bit cooler)

1 x pair shorts and 1 x skirt for tourist areas

4 x t shirts or vests

3 x dresses ( a mix of short and long and at least one than can be smartened up of an evening)

2 x cardigan/jumpers (overnight travel or bad weather days)

2 x pair pj’s (long or short, whatever you comfortable with)

2 x pashmina (you will want one with you every day as you never know when you might need an extra cover up for entering temples or overnight trains)

1 x headscarf or hat

toiletries bag with a hook (mine is years old but I literally unpack by clipping onto something in a bathroom, no time wasted)

1 x adapter ( In some places you may only get one socket so no point lugging lots of these around)

a basic toiletries kit  of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, razor, moisturiser and a small hairbrush/comb ( you may use a day cream, night cream, serum, eye cream, hairspray etc at home but you will not want to carry all this around!)

One small luxury item from your toiletries list, ideally something that can be used for many things ( mine is Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream it softens lips/skin, heals cuts/sores/spots and can be used on your hair if needed)

1 x bag that goes over shoulder for days out (harder for someone to snatch!)

1 x decent pair of flip flops (ideally ones that will also look nice with a dress in evening)

1 x comfy loose trainers/ or walking boots.

2 x sunglasses (because I usually break or loose 1)

2-3 x bikinis


7 days of underwear

3-4 pairs socks

A basic medication pack (ibuprofen, paracetamol, sickness and diarrhea tablets, salt sachets, plasters plus anything you have on prescription)

tampons (difficult to find in many countries and expensive in some)

1 x small blanket (overnight trains/buses/dorms)

1 x travel pillow (overnight trains/buses/dorms)

earplugs (essential for noisy dorms, flights and hotel rooms)

a plastic bag or two (for wet or dirty items)

1 x beach towel (also handy for places that don’t supply them in room)

1 x belt ( that works with trousers and also looks nice with  a dress)

a few hair bobbles and clasps if long hair, not the easiest things to always find.

Multivitamins and probiotics (may be a lot to carry but may save you picking up bugs on your trip)

Water purification tablets (if you are likely to be drinking water from tabs or waterfalls)

Most importantly be aware of where you are travelling, what is the culture, should you be concerned about covering shoulders or knees? Will you be staying in hostels, or in good quality hotels? washing your clothes in the lake? As a rule I wound not take anything with you that you would be really upset to loose or get ruined. Leave the expensive clothes and jewellery at home.


If you enjoyed this but still want to pack less. Check out how to pack in 6kgs hand luggage!